Nicky Hayden, the “Kentucky Kid”, was the 2006 MotoGP World Champion. He died Monday at age 35. He was hit by a car five days ago while he was riding a bicycle during training for the 2017 World Superbikes season. Hayden was hit by a careless driver five days ago, suffered massive internal and brain injuries, and succumbed to them on Monday, May 22.
Already the victim blaming and factless speculation has started, spewing tripe like “maybe he ran a stop sign”. Photos from the accident scene show it was a long, straight road, no corners or traffic signs in sight. And no skid marks from the car tires, either. Unfortunately, as with most cyclist deaths, the assumption is that the cyclist is at fault. The tone is very similar to the way women are blamed for being raped (i.e. “how was he riding?” = “what was she wearing?”).
It shouldn’t require the death of someone famous for people to realize that drivers do not respect cyclists and do not obey the law. Cyclists have as much a legal right to the road as car drivers do, and drivers are legally required to leave space for cyclists to ride safely. If you don’t want cyclists in car lanes, petition for one car lane to be blocked off with concrete Jersey barriers to provide a cycling lane. Cars and drivers are the problem and danger, not cyclists.
The behaviour and actions of car drivers towards cyclists and pedestrians is Traffic Terrorism, and it needs to end.
Criticism of how cyclists ride is not relevant, unwanted and will be silenced.